• A little girl with an armful of flowers examines a butterfly perched on her hand
    A little girl with an armful of flowers examines a butterfly perched on her hand
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v perch sit, as on a branch "The birds perched high in the tree"
    • v perch cause to perch or sit "She perched her hat on her head"
    • v perch to come to rest, settle "Misfortune lighted upon him"
    • n perch any of numerous spiny-finned fishes of various families of the order Perciformes
    • n perch spiny-finned freshwater food and game fishes
    • n perch support consisting of a branch or rod that serves as a resting place (especially for a bird)
    • n perch any of numerous fishes of America and Europe
    • n perch an elevated place serving as a seat
    • n perch a square rod of land
    • n perch a linear measure of 16.5 feet
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Addie's pet bird perches on her finger Addie's pet bird perches on her finger
A ruined fortress perched on a cliff A ruined fortress perched on a cliff
Castles perch on high cliffs above a river Castles perch on high cliffs above a river
The weasel perches on Mademoiselle's shoulder The weasel perches on Mademoiselle's shoulder

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Sometime around 1325, the Aztecs were looking for a place to build their capital. A priest had interpreted an omen to mean the site should be where the found an eagle, perched on a cactus, devouring a snake. And that's why they chose what is now Mexico City; they found the eagle eating a snake while resting on a cactus. The scene is depicted on the Mexican flag.
    • Perch A measure of length containing five and a half yards; a rod, or pole.
    • Perch A pole connecting the fore gear and hind gear of a spring carriage; a reach.
    • Perch A pole; a long staff; a rod; esp., a pole or other support for fowls to roost on or to rest on; a roost; figuratively, any elevated resting place or seat. "As chauntecleer among his wives all
      Sat on his perche , that was in his hall."
      "Not making his high place the lawless perch Of winged ambitions."
    • Perch Any fresh-water fish of the genus Perca and of several other allied genera of the family Percidæ, as the common American or yellow perch (Perca flavescens syn. Perca Americana), and the European perch (Perca fluviatilis).
    • Perch Any one of numerous species of spiny-finned fishes belonging to the Percidæ Serranidæ, and related families, and resembling, more or less, the true perches.
    • Perch In land or square measure: A square rod; the 160th part of an acre.
    • Perch In solid measure: A mass 161/2 feet long, 1 foot in height, and 11/2 feet in breadth, or 243/4 cubic feet (in local use, from 22 to 25 cubic feet); -- used in measuring stonework.
    • v. i Perch To alight or settle, as a bird; to sit or roost. "Wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch ."
    • Perch To occupy as a perch.
    • Perch To place or to set on, or as on, a perch.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n perch A very common fresh-water fish of Europe, Perca fluviatilis, or one of many other species of the same family. The common perch has two dorsal fins, the first with from thirteen to fifteen spines, the second with a spine and fourteen rays; the anal has two spines and seven rays; the color is generally dark olivaceous, with six or eight darker bars. The common yellow perch of the United States is scarcely different from the foregoing, but is technically distinguished as P. americana or flavescens. See also cuts under fish and teleost.
    • n perch A fish of one of various other genera or families Any surf-fish or member of the Embiotocidæ: morefully called viviparous perch. See surf-fish and alfiona. [Pacific coast, U. S.]
    • n perch One of the dark species of Lepomis or of Pomotis.
    • n perch The black sea-bass, Centropristis atrarius.
    • n perch One of the dark viviparous perches, as Ditrema jacksoni.
    • n perch The fresh-water drum, or sheepshead, Aplodinotus grunniens.
    • n perch The tripletail, Lobotes surinamensis.
    • n perch The rose-fish, Sebastes viviparus.
    • n perch One of several embiotocoid or viviparous perches
    • n perch A serranoid fish, Macquaria australasica.
    • n perch The black or wide-mouthed sunfish, Chænobryttus gulosus.
    • n perch The fresh-water drum, sheepshead, or black perch, Aplodinotus grunniens.
    • n perch One of several different embiotocids or viviparous perches, as Hyperprosopon argenteus, Damalichthys vacca, etc.
    • n perch A rod or pole; especially, a rod or pole serving as a roost for birds; anything on which birds alight and rest.
    • n perch Hence An elevated seat or position.
    • n perch A rod or pole used as a definite measure of length; a measure of length equal to 5½ yards. Perches of 7 and 8 yards have also been in local use. See pole.
    • n perch A square measure equal to 30¼ square yards: 160 perches make an acre.
    • n perch A unit of cubic measure used by stone-masons. It is usually 16½ feet by 1½ feet by 1 foot; but it varies greatly.
    • n perch A pole or staff set up as a beacon on a shallow place or a rock, or used to mark a channel.
    • n perch In vehicles: A pole connecting the fore and hind gears of a spring-carriage; the reach or bar. See cut under barouche.
    • n perch An elevated seat for the driver
    • n perch [⟨ perch, verb] The act of perching or alighting upon a place; hence, grasp; hold.
    • perch To alight or settle on a perch or elevated support, as a bird; use a perch; roost.
    • perch To alight or sit in some elevated position, as if on a perch.
    • perch To place, set, or fix on a perch or other elevated support.
    • perch To operate upon (“roughers,” or woolen cloth as taken from the looms) as follows: The cloth is stretched in a frame, and the percher carefully examines the whole texture for imperfections, which may consist of burs and knots, which he carefully removes, or of holes, which he nicely darns. This process is also called burling, and is preparatory to the process of fulling.
    • n perch Applied, with various epithets, to many fishes in Australia, none of which belong to the family Percidæ. The same fishes are called by various names in different localities. See barramunda, bidyan ruff, black perch , fresh-water perch , golden perch, mado, Murray perch, parrot-fish , pearl perch, poddly, red-gurnet perch, red perch, rock-perch, and sea-perch, 5 and 6.
    • n perch In Australia, Coprodon longimanus.
    • n perch In leather manufacturing, a frame on which a skin is stretched flat so that it may be worked smooth and soft.
    • n perch In textile-manuf., a frame, usually with two overhead rolls, over which cloth is drawn to be examined for imperfections.
    • n perch In car-building, a draft-timber.
    • perch In leather manufacturing, to soften or draw out by means of a perch. See perch, n., 9.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Perch pėrch a genus of fresh-water fishes
    • n Perch pėrch a rod on which birds roost: any high seat or position: a measure=5½ yards: a square measure=30¼ square yards: a pole joining the fore and hind gear of a spring carriage: a frame on which cloth is examined for flaws
    • v.i Perch to sit or roost on a perch: to settle
    • v.t Perch to place, as on a perch
    • adj Perch insessorial
    • ***


  • Victor Hugo
    “Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “The perch swallows the grub-worm, the pickerel swallows the perch, and the fisherman swallows the pickerel; and so all the chinks in the scale of being are filled.”
  • Emily Dickinson
    “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul -- and sings the tunes without the words -- and never stops at all.”
  • Lord Byron
    “The fact is that my wife if she had common sense would have more power over me than any other whatsoever, for my heart always alights upon the nearest perch.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. perche, F. perche, L. perca, fr. Gr. pe`rkh; cf. perkno`s dark-colored, Skr. pṛçni, spotted, speckled, and E. freckle,


In literature:

Women would be afraid to perch up there in the sky.
"Lady Betty Across the Water"
What matters it if the caged eagle have his perch gilded or no?
"The White Lady of Hazelwood" by Emily Sarah Holt
His habit is to perch on the boulders which are washed by the foaming waters of a mountain torrent.
"Birds of the Indian Hills" by Douglas Dewar
Mr Gould describes one he saw perched on a twig, pluming its feathers.
"The Western World" by W.H.G. Kingston
Not even a bird can safely perch on it.
"Odysseus, the Hero of Ithaca" by Homer
Bearded folk behind perch on chairs as on a balcony.
"Wappin' Wharf" by Charles S. Brooks
Such a ride in the hot sun, perched up in the air!
"A Confederate Girl's Diary" by Sarah Margan Dawson
Here she was, fussing over some stuffed birds in a glass case, when a live starling, who could talk, had perched near her very window sill!
"Explorers of the Dawn" by Mazo de la Roche
Vulgar restlessness was unknown to him; flying about for mere exercise, or hopping from perch to perch to pass away time, he scorned.
"In Nesting Time" by Olive Thorne Miller
If it was not the pike nor the perch, depend upon it it was the heron.
"Wood Magic" by Richard Jefferies

In poetry:

ALOOF from his tribe
On the elm-tree's top,
A jackdaw perched
A hand-reach up.
"Jackdaw" by Padraic Colum
THOU pretty Bird, it is not here
That thou art used to sing;
Thou art not wont, on perch like that,
To rest thy little wing.
"To a Bird Singing In The Church" by Caroline Fry
How oft upon her finger-tips
He perched, afraid of Cupid's arrow,
Or kissed her on the rosebud lips,
Like Roman Lesbia's loving sparrow!
"The First Fan" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
'Twas a beautiful day in the spring,
The sun shone out warmly and clear;
And the wee birds, their love songs to sing
Came and perched on the trees that grew near.
"Alice" by John Hartley
And this speech in their hearing she made,
As she perched o'er their heads on a tree,
"If ye all were well skilled in my trade,
Pray, why came ye to learn it of me?"—
"The Magpie's Nest, Or A Lesson Of Docility" by Charles Lamb
"Woe! Mistress Hale tormenteth me! She came in like a bird,
Perched on her husband's shoulder!" Then silence fell; no word
Spake either judge or minister, while with profound amaze
Each fixed upon the other's face his horrorstricken gaze.
"Mistress Hale Of Beverly" by Lucy Larcom

In news:

Gives your cats a place to perch.
When we arrived the male was perched across the square from the nest on the corner of the Portland Building.
A sailing yacht remains perched on the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway in Hoboken Nov 26, four weeks after Hurricane Sandy.
Perched atop a mountain ridge hundreds of feet above the Valley, Rustler 's Rooste is hardly underground.
An Upland Sandpiper perches on a post at Carden Alvar in Ontario, Canada.
The alternative to the stiletto for spring is a sandal or mule perched securely on a platform sole.
From my perch in the McCarthey Athletic Center on the campus of Gonzaga, there was little positive to see from the Mountaineer basketball team.
CLEVELAND — Jon Gruden joked about the day he caught a large perch while fishing on Lake Erie.
Five feet above the water, on a stump, perched a snapping turtle .
As I got closer I realized that he had gotten there on his own and was quite comfortably perched in a position to survey everything going on.
Five feet above the water, on a stump, perched a snapping turtle.
The Triumph Street Triple R may be 2.4 inches shorter of wheelbase and 23 pounds lighter, but I think I feel even more forward, perched atop and in control of the Streetfighter .
This ultra-sleek, contemporary condo perched on the edge of the San Antonio River was designed by late architect Joe Stubblefield.
From my perch 15 feet away, corralled behind a green velvet rope with a few other members of the press, Laura Bush seemed nice enough.
A Western Tanager perched in a hawthorne tree in Naramata, British Columbia.

In science:

This paper is motivated by the surprising emergence of sine kernel statistics in many real world observations, parking cars, perching birds on lines and so on.
Local Universality of Repulsive Particle Systems and Random Matrices
Also spacings between perching birds and between bus arrival times at stops in certain cities seem to obey (β = 2) random matrix spacing statistics.
Particle Systems with Repulsion Exponent \beta\ and Random Matrices
Human means that if suitably dressed, given lots of money, and perched in a barstool in Las Vegas, the personage will attract potential mates.
Astrophysics in 2006
Possiamo usare questa relazione per calco lare quale temperatura si dovrebbe avere perché la materia sia allo stato di plasma, alla densità data affiché la materia sia allo stato di plasma.
Ionospheric HF radio propagation in problems and computer assignments
Viene per`o criticato da alcuni autori, sia perch´e non tutti i tipi di orologio risultano equivalenti, sia soprattutto perch´e l’introduzione di tali tipi di orologi, oltre a modificare il numero di gradi di libert`a del sistema, introduce comunque dei processi invasivi, i quali condizionerebbero i risultati.
Tempi di Tunnelling (Tunneling Times)